You know, some days I just want to smack my computer. Or something. Not someone… because I know that’s wrong.
Like the other day, I checked out my Instagram account while I was pedaling my exercise bike. I should probably say here that, while I like social media, managing several different accounts means that it can eat up my day if I let it. So my time on the exercise bike is the time I’ve set aside to pay attention to my Instagram (and Pinterest and Twitter) account. Anyway, I saw that I had several new followers. Okay, that’s good isn’t it? But when I checked out my new followers, I was surprised that they had chosen to follow me. Not sure what a shirtless, twenty-something male, for example, would find interesting in my posts. Me… a retired, middle-aged, book addict posting about walks in Algonquin Park, bike rides on the Rideau… or my new skinny jeans. I didn’t follow back because, well, I’m not interested in the photos this boy posts. And then the next day I saw that I’d been “unfollowed” by the same four followers I’d gained the day before. Presumably because I didn’t follow them back. Ah well… easy come, easy go. But seriously, what were they thinking to begin with? Who has time for this nonsense? I mean, I follow those accounts which interest me, and expect that others will do the same. Sheesh… sometimes the antics on the internet… who follows whom, and how many followers does whomever have … just make me laugh. Or roll my eyes. Or both.
|Big eye rolls (and too many chins) in Paris last year.|
And don’t get me started on those incredibly silly, hyperbolic, and repetitive headlines on articles I see shared on Facebook. Headlines that go something like …”So and so did something and when I saw what happened I… cried/ was amazed / was stunned / was blown away”… pick a hyperbolic description of your choice. Those bug me. Well, any click-bait headline bugs me, actually. They’re just ploys to get you to the site so you can mistakenly click on an ad because you can’t figure out which of the sixteen arrows on the page is supposed to trigger the next bit of content. Speaking hypothetically, of course. Ha.
And then there are those days when you see that someone somewhere is saying something incredibly stupid, or unaccountably mean, and putting it out there in the ether. And I want to say… “Really? You just said that?” But I usually don’t because I really don’t want to prolong a discussion in which brains and restraint are clearly not a requirement.
Until today. I was reading my Bloglovin’ feed, and saw this title: There’s a Retiree in My Shopping Cart on the popular blog Man Repeller. I usually like this blog. It has cutting-edge fashion, witty and thoughtful content articles, interesting guest post writers. And the quality of the writing is very good. And even though I know I am definitely NOT in their target demographic, I read it quite frequently. But today, this particular article severely pissed me off…. if you’ll excuse my lapse into profanity. In the article the writer pushes her shopping cart through a store, “with the shuffling gait of a grandmother” because in real life she’s suffering from “stress-induced disc flare-up.” She describes her unaccountable desire to dress like a fictional “retiree” she calls Dorothy. She is drawn to baggy pants and pastels and slippers. She says “I think I want to dress like I’m retired… like I’m up for a card game at any time. Like the only thing on my calendar this week is my granddaughter’s soccer game….” And my first thought when I read this was…”Are you kidding me?”
And so I broke my own rule and I commented. I said I was insulted by the depiction of “retirees” in the article and thought the site was usually more open-minded. Now, I should say that the writer seems like a smart girl and, to her credit, she responded apologetically to my comment, saying she had not meant to offend; she meant to convey that she finds the way her “grandparents and their friends” “quite wisely prioritize comfort” to be “inspiring.” Uh, okay. But her image of retirees sitting around in their slippers and pastel baggy pants playing cards still rankles. I wonder… can we call this “age shaming” do you think? Okay, so I’m joking with that last comment. But did this writer and the “MR Team” not think that anyone over 50 might possibly be reading this blog? I guess not. Is this what generation Y or Z or Millennials or whatever thinks will happen when they retire? Sure sounds like it.
Ah well. Not sure why I’m getting in a snit over the internet this week. It’s just that every once in a while I find the whole ultra-slavishly trendy, hyperbolically emotional tone a bit wearing. I mean, who are those people whose comments on blogs or news sites are so ardently adoring or so vitriolic? What are they thinking? Who writes those click bait headlines? Or those over the top fashion blog titles? Can a pair of cutoffs actually be “insanely chic?” Why isn’t it sufficient to say they are “chic?” Can we not like a pair of shoes? Must we be “obsessed” with them? Must so many people jump to so very many conclusions… like the article which so obviously got my dander up?
Sigh. Sometimes the internet just makes me crazy. And I have to let it out. I feel much better now.
Writing that line about being in a snit took me back a few years. To the Animated Film Festival we used to run at my old high school. And made me think about this award winning short film The Big Snit from the Canadian National Film Board. A perennial favourite with the kids. We brought it back year after year. It’s seriously weird… and brilliant. And only 8 minutes long. Have a look.
How about you… my wise and wonderfully sane readers… does the internet make you crazy every now and then?